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SEPTEMBER 28, 2012 - COVINGTON
The Covington Buccaneers took a huge step in its quest to three-peat as Cross County Conference Champions with a convincing 41-0 win over Miami East on Friday.
"I felt the key for us was controlling the line of scrimmage," said Covington coach Dave Miller. "Both sides of the ball, I felt we won the battle up front."
And so did Miami East coach, Max Current.
"Covington's a good football team," Current said. "We had some chances, but made some mistakes that they took advantage of. You can't make some of the mistakes we made and expect to beat a good team like that."
A huge mistake for Miami East came with just under 2:00 left in the half with Covington leading 14-0 after two touchdown runs by A.J. Ouellette - one from 20 yards out and then a four-yard plunge.
The Vikings were near midfield with a chance to cut into Covington's lead before the break, but Troy Cron stepped in front of a Viking pass for the interception.
On the very next play Ouellete connected with Austin Angle on a halfback pass and Angle went 37 yards untouched down the Buccaneer sideline to increase the Covington lead to 21-0 at the break.
"That was a big sequence for them," Current said. "We had the correct defensive call for coverage, but we didn't stay disciplined and it cost us. That really hurt."
What also hurt Miami East was the loss of starting quarterback Connor Hellyer early in the second quarter, even though freshman Braxton Donaldson performed very admirably as his replacement.
"Losing Hellyer hurt," Current said. "But hey, Braxton came in and did a fine job. And he's only a freshman."
Covington kept the foot on the gas peddle in the second half by recovering an onside kick on the opening kickoff of the half.
This set up a 37-yard touchdown run by A.J. Ouellette to push the Buccaneer lead to 27-0 as the extra point attempt was wide left.
And on the ensuing kick, the Buccaneers received another break as the kick went off the side of the kicker's foot and Dalton Bordelon made a head's up play by diving on the ball.
A few plays later Ouellette broke free again up the middle for a 27-yard touchdown run to push the Buccaneer lead to 34-0.
The final dagger for Covington came midway through the fourth quarter as Miami East driving past midfield. But Ouellette picked off a Viking pass at the Covington five and raced 95 yards to the end zone.
Unfortunately for the Buccs, an inadvertent whistle killed the play at the Viking 34 - erasing what would have been the second longest interception return in school history.
Not to be denied, Covington put the final points on the board as freshman quarterback Jared Williams powered is way in from the one for his first varsity touchdown.
"This is a big win - a complete team effort," Miller said. "But we still have to continue striving to improve. We have to do a better job of protecting the football, that's for sure."
And you can bet that will be stressed in practice as the Buccs fumbled twice in the contest inside the Viking ten.
Still, it was an impressive effort by Covington and one that put the Buccs at the top of the heap in the CCC with four games to go.
Covington racked up 404 yards of offense with 367 of those coming on the ground, while Miami East tallied 105 yards of offense.
"We're not there yet," Miller closed. "There's still a lot of football ahead of us and we have a long ways to go to become the team we think we can be."
Covington (6-0) will continue to work to became that team as it looks forward to the next challenge next week at Twin Valley South.